Why take antenatal classes?
Birth is often compared to a marathon. This is true in many respects; birth and a marathon are both physically and mentally challenging for those that take part. You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon without first buying a pair of trainers and putting in some training, nor should you enter your birth without first getting prepared!
There are many things on your list to buy when you’re expecting a baby, giving birth will be one of the biggest moments in your life and having a positive birth is worth far more than any baby accessory. Investing in yourself and ensuring you are thoroughly prepared for the big day will give yourself and your baby the best possible chance of having a safer, faster, uncomplicated and gentle birth and overall being happy with your experience of childbirth.
You will take your birth story with you for the rest of your life so let’s make it a good one!
What are active birth antenatal classes?
The Active Birth Movement was pioneered by Janet Balaskas in the 80's, at a time when birth was under heavy medical management and women had little control over their births. Women lay on a hospital bed and medical interventions were routinely administered during delivery in order to standardise and control the birth process. Active birth campaigned for womens' rights to get up off the bed and birth naturally as nature and evolution intended, without unnecessary medical intervention.
They later went on to invent now everyday birthing ideas such as pregnancy yoga, birthing balls and giving birth in a water pool, all aimed to assist the body in the natural birthing process. Click HERE to read more about The Active Birth Movement.
Active birth classes go right back to basics; nothing but proven scientific facts about how we are made and how women are naturally designed to give birth, without any need for medical intervention. Of course, sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control but for the vast majority of cases if you know how to work with your body an unassisted and uncomplicated birth is most definitely possible. In the event of unavoidable complications active birth classes will ensure you are informed and prepared, enabling you to make the best decisions for you and your baby and maintain a positive experience of childbirth.
Our courses are accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. Connie is trained by Janet Balaskas herself and is registered with the Federation of Antenatal Educators.
You can join a course at any stage of your pregnancy, though you may wish to wait until you are closer to your due date so that the information is fresh at the time of your birth and new baby's arrival. Active birth classes are highly recommended if this is your first baby or if you have had a bad experience of childbirth in the past and are hoping make things different this time around.
At Baby Boom! active birth antenatal classes you will learn about:
Birth as a natural bodily process. How a woman’s body is perfectly designed to facilitate the baby from the womb into the world
Optimal foetal positioning, what you can do before and during labour to encourage your baby into the best position to birth easily
What you can do to progress your labour more quickly
How to make it easier and more gentle for your baby to be born
How to stay calm and in control and manage the sensations of labour effectively
How to avoid unnecessary medical interventions
Optimal labour and birth positions, what to use and when
What your birth partner can do to best support you during the birth
How to stay in control if medical interventions are necessary
Techniques for feeding your baby; breast and formula feeding
Caring for your baby in the first 3 months of life (baby care, safety, development)
Caring for your body and beginning the healing process after birth
Access to a private Facebook support group
A birth doula is a companion who supports a birthing woman during labour and birth. A doula will provide support for both you and your birth partner to ensure that the birthing mother has someone at her side at all times.
Birth doulas are trained to provide continuous, one-on-one care, as well as information, physical support, and emotional support to birthing women and their partners. A doula’s primary responsibility is to the birthing woman—not to the hospital, midwife, or doctor.
Why hire a Doula?
Having a woman experienced in childbirth, such as a doula, present with you continuously throughout your labour and birth to support you can significantly improve your chances of giving birth without medical intervention and feeling happy with your experience of child birth.
As your birth Doula, I will be present to support you throughout your pregnancy, to assist you in discussing and planning your options for the birth of your baby and provide you with any support or guidance you may need to help you to prepare for your birth. I will attend your labour from when you are at home and accompany you wherever you choose to give birth, ensuring you will have the continuous support of a known caregiver who you can entrust to uphold your wishes and birth plan in any event. I will continue to support and guide you during the post-natal period. I can provide information on breast and bottle feeding, techniques for soothing your baby and optimising sleep for infant and mother.
I am registered with Doula UK which means I have undertaken sufficient training to be eligible. To See My Doula UK Profile Click HERE
BENEFITS OF A DOULA
Research has shown that women who receive continuous support from a doula during labour can expect:
decreased risk of Ceasarian
increase in likelihood of normal vaginal delivery (without intervention)
decrease in the use of medications for pain relief
decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
What does the birth doula package include?
Birth doula standard package - £400
1 hour initial meeting (free of charge) do decide if I am the right doula for you.
4 hours of antenatal care. A chance for me to get to know you and your partner, discuss and plan your preferences for the birth and what you would like from me as your doula.
4 hours postnatal care. A chance to debrief the birth, and provide support with feeding and your transition into parenthood.
Attendance with you at home during labour, accompany you wherever you choose to give birth and stay with you during your initial bonding period.
Unlimited text, telephone or email contact throughout pregnancy, labour and up to 8 weeks postnatally.
Birth doula plus package - £600
All elements of standard package
12 hour Active Birth antenatal course
This is a great opportunity for us to spend more time together, whilst you get mentally and physically prepared for your birth.
Use of our inflatable birth pool during your labour and birth
I will bring it when I attend your labour and take it away with me afterwards, totally clutter and hassle free!
Photography of your bump, birth and newborn
In order to support you during your first few weeks or months of parenthood, I can provide a post natal Doula service. My aim is to support you to find your new routine and ways of managing your life alongside caring for your new baby. This may include practical support whilst you learn to manage the balance between domestic and parenting duties. I can assist with either or both of these.
Entering parenthood can be mentally tough; sleep deprivation, a crying baby and a dramatic change of lifestyle can leave you in need of some tlc.
I can provide you with much needed emotional support, maintaining your mental well being is paramount so you can concentrate on being a great parent. I can provide a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and someone to confide in and reassure you that you’re doing great or refer you to the right help if you do need extra support with something.
I can also give you the opportunity for a short break and space whilst you recharge your batteries. If you need more specialised support; I can provide information on breast and bottle feeding, techniques for soothing your baby and optimising sleep for infant and mother.
Postnatal doula packages
8 hours postnatal care £150
12 hours postnatal care £200
20 hours postnatal care £300
Birth Trauma Recovery
What is birth trauma?
Birth trauma is when a woman or her birth partner are plagued by negative emotions that have a detrimental effect on thier life following thier experience during labour, birth or postnataly.
Around 1 in 3 women report their birth to have been traumatic and up to 10% of women may develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where a person experiences flashbacks, heightened anxiety, and avoising anything that reminds them of the event.
What is birth trauma recovery?
When we experience an event which we consider to be traumatic it fires a part of the brain called the amygdala which is responsible for the fight or flight response. The amygdala is then reactivated each time we experience a similar event or triggers associated with that event such as a sight, smell or any other stimulation of the senses. This is a safety mechanism used by the body to alert and protect us from experiencing that same harm again. It is a survival technique, like an internal alarm bell alerting us to potential danger.
Over time our brain should process this event and store it in our long-term memory. However, sometimes following trauma the brain is unable to process the event and it remains in the amygdala and is replayed over and over. When this happens a person can re-experience the event as though they are reliving it for the first time and the feelings associated with that experience are felt very strongly even years after the event. It’s like the alarm bell is misfiring and going off inappropriately.
The 3 step rewind guides a person through a process which facilitates them to disable the alarm and disassociate the memory from the feelings that are evoked by it. The experience is moved out of the amygdala and into the neocortex as a long-term memory. In this way the memory remains but the strong feelings will be neutralised.
The process will take place over 3 sessions at your own home:
The first session is around 1.5 hours will be a chance for you to discuss your experience (but only if you wish to, the process can be done without revealing any details), the impact it is having on your life and how you would like this to change. You will then be taken through a guided relaxation in order to prepare you to face the memory in a safe space. You will be required to practice this relaxation process after the first meeting in preparation for the 3 step rewind session.
The second session will again assist you to be taken to a place of deep relaxation before the 3 step rewind is completed. The process will be a continuation of the relaxation as the technique is incorporated into it.
The third session will be a follow up phone call to check in on your feelings following the 3 step rewind and to find out how things have changed for you.
The 3 step rwind is not ‘treatment’ it is teaching and guiding you to reprocess the memory in a more appropriate way so that it no longer has a negative impact on your life.
The process will be offered on a sliding scale fee ensuring it is available to everyone regardless of their financial status. The suggested fee is £50 due to the time and travel involved in the work but anything up to that amount that you are able to afford will be acceptable.